Eclaire Fare

Enjoying Pop Culture, One Bite at a Time

SYTYCD Season 6: The Top 20 Revealed October 22, 2009

After over a month of watching auditions and the Vegas round, we finally met our season 6 top 20 last night. Actually, I enjoyed this new, slower pace. Normally we go from the first audition to the top 20 in about two or three weeks of two hour episodes. By spreading the episodes out into one hour increments, and devoting more time to back stories on the contestants, I feel like we are way ahead of where we were at this point in season 5, when – ironically – I had no clue who Jeanine was! Let’s take a look at the 20 dancers who earned a place on the show. I’ve grouped them by dance specialty.

So You Think You Can Dance’s Season 6 Top 10 Girls

  • Tap – I listed tap first since the judges seem determined to make this season “the year of the tap.” I have nothing against tap dancers, but is there really room for three of them in the top 20, when there are so many other versatile dancers out there? I could be wrong, but I have a feeling that at least one of these tappers will hear something from the judges along the lines of, “You are a terrific tapper, but you’ve got to grow in other areas…”
    • Bianca Revels (20) – Despite my rant above, I do like Bianca. She has a laid back but fun personality, and we’ve seen how passionate she was about making the top 20. (I have a soft spot for the dancers who shed genuine tears in response to the judges’ feedback, or to making it through a particularly difficult round.)
  • Contemporary
    • Ariana Debose (18) – I had never seen her before last night (that I can recall), but her name certainly has a nice ring to it. And she has a nice smile. If she has the personality to match, she could be popular with the fans.
    • Channing Cooke (18) – Now there’s a name and a face you’ll remember. They are playing her up as “the tomboy” (with good reason, since she watches auto racing and once won a national lawn mower obstacle course competition), but I think she has a very classic beauty, and looks very glamorous in the show’s top 20 press release photos. I bet the makeup, hair, and costume departments will have fun working with her. Let’s just hope she has the dancing skills to match the look! If for no other reason, I like her because her profile said that she loves cats. 🙂
    • Ellenore Scott (19) – Her demeanor and speech make seem older than 19, and unfortunately we don’t know much about her. Will her beautiful smile and complexion be enough to make her stand out from the crowd? (After all, since in theory they are all supposed to be great dancers, the viewing audience will pick and choose based on other factors.)
    • Kathryn McCormick (19) – It’s unfortunate that the only thing I know about Kathryn right now is that she talks in an extremely high-pitched voice when she cries, and she cries A LOT. I hope she can get control of her emotions before show time! Earlier I mentioned that I have a soft spot for contestants who cry, but I do have my limits!
    • Noelle Marsh (18) – All I know about Noelle is that she’s Mollee’s BFF. Like, OMG that’s 2gd2btru! Woo hoo! Watching the scenes of them screaming and hugging made me feel like I was watching a Greek rush week special instead of a dance competition. As you may have guessed, I’m no sorority girl, and so I wasn’t super interested in these girls’ sisterhood moments. Granted, I’m happy that they struck up a friendship and will have someone they are close to while they are away from home. I have no comment on Noelle’s dancing yet, since I can’t remember seeing her audition.
  • Jazz

    • Mollee Gray (18) – I agree with the judges that Mollee seems more like a 14 or 15 year old than an 18 year old. She will face quite a challenge on more “grown up” dances like the waltz or the tango, and on any emotionally-charged routines. She’s in a similar position to former American Idol contestant Diana DeGargmo, who had to sing songs about lost love or long standing relationships, things she’d never experienced. Since I tend to root for the older-skewing contestants (like last season’s Melissa), Mollee is not likely to be on my radar.
    • Pauline Mata (19) – I don’t know much about Pauline’s dancing, but I fear she will be one of the contestants who slips through the cracks because we don’t know much about her and she doesn’t stand out.
  • Ball Room
    • Ashleigh Di Lello (26) – She barely made it into the top 20. She was basically the judges’ consolation prize when their top choice, Paula, turned down her invitation to the top 20 because she had a contract to be in a movie. Speaking of which, did it bother anyone else that Paula would remain in the competition as long as she did, knowing that she wouldn’t be able to continue? On the other hand, I can understand why she’d want to see what could have been. However, if she had notified the judges in advance, who knows who would have rounded out the top 20? Back to Ashleigh, she seems like a sweet girl, but I hope she tones down the face pulls she does when she dances.
    • Karen Hauer (27) – Hey, her last name rhymes with Bauer. Sounds like an opportunity for Fox to plug its most popular spy thriller! At 27, she must be one of the oldest contestants, and “older” never bodes well for contestants on this show. Plus, I wonder if missing her husband, who also tried out, will affect her performance – especially since she will constantly be around the ballroom couple who did make it in together.

So You Think You Can Dance’s Season 6 Top 10 Guys

  • Tap.

    • Peter Sabasino (22) – One of two guy tap dancers this season, Peter seems more like an athlete than a dancer, which should serve him well in the competition, since much of the partnering requires strength and agility.
    • Phillip Attmore (25) – Phillip seems like an old soul – well, at least he looks like he is from the big band era. I don’t know what to think of him yet, though.
  • Contemporary
    • Billy Bell (19) – I love his dancing, and although I had thought that he lacked personality, he certainly came out of his shell after he was invited to the top 20! It was fun to see him jumping around and doing some cheesy dance moves. If he can keep that attitude up, he can avoid the curse that other highly trained dancers before him (aka Danny and Will) have suffered from, since they were always criticized for being too serious and proud.
    • Jakob Karr (19) – Where did this guy come from? I don’t remember seeing him a single time this season. I will wait until I see him dance to form an opinion.
    • Nathan Trasoras (18) – Isn’t he just a beautiful boy? I’d go so far as to say he’d rival Edward Cullen’s epic looks. And thankfully, he (I’m back to Nathan now, not Edward) has the dancing skills to match. I was a fan of Nathan’s the minute he started his audition back in season five, and I’ve been anticipating his return ever since.
    • Victor Smalley (21) – I don’t know anything about Victor, but apparently he made an impression on the judges in Vegas, by giving his all and succeeding in the various genres (and being willing to shave his distracting hair). Perhaps he’ll make an impression on America, too.
  • Ballroom
    • Ryan Di Lello (28) – Based on some of the judges’ remarks, it almost sounds like Ryan made it into the top 20 on the strengh of his biceps alone (well, and also his pecs, his abs…). I just hope his dancing matches his physique, and that he will sometimes keep his shirt on (lest he distract us from the actual competition!).
  • Hip Hop
    • Legacy Perez (28) – I didn’t realize Legacy was in his upper 20s. He sure has a lot of energy and strength for someone approaching 30! I’m impressed by his dancing and his determination, so I hope he will do well in the competition. Again, I’m a fan of the genuine tears, and he certainly shed a lot of them (but never too many at once!).
    • Kevin Hunte (23) – I vaguely remember seeing Kevin’s audition, but I don’t know much about him. He faces some tough competition from other hip hoppers who’ve received more screen time.
    • Russell Ferguson (20) – I love this krumping Bostonian! His first audition had so much energy and passion that he moved to the top of my list right away, and he’s still there. It remains to be seen how he’ll do in the actual competition, but I was pleased to see him succeed with whatever was thrown at him in Vegas. I’m a little skeptical at his claim that he’s received no formal training, especially since his bio says he trained at Boston Arts Academy. Nevertheless, I’m a fan. And how sweet was it when he teared up as Mia complimented him and shared the news that he’d made the top 20?!

Early Favorites – I know, it’s still too early to pick favorites. They haven’t even performed yet! But it’s always funs to look back and see how my opinions have changed once the competition gets going. So who are your initial favorites? It will be fun to see them perform on Monday night, without fear of elimination. Check back for my more objective analysis then!

  • Russell
  • Nathan
  • Channing

To see pictures and mini-bios for each contestant, check out this SYTYCD page on